On Friday 24th June I attended the closing party for the Community Arts Forum. It was an evening of mixed emotions. Good to see old friends again and be reminded of projects and successes, but sad to witness the end of an organisation that did such important and innovative work. I am proud to have been involved.
This is the poem I was commissioned to write for CAF’s tenth anniversary in May 2003. I think it still captures a little of what the organisation was about.
a celebration of CAF’s first decade
By vision of heart and passion of mind
garnering new ground,
clearing a way
to common possession –
singing against the silence.
We have uncaged the wren,
thrown wide the doors of our hearts
and un-prismed the colours of hope
to dance undaunted: we have tasted
the boundlessness of our imagination
and when I grow tired, you’ll lend
me strength, and when you doubt
I will believe: line and curve
our architecture, we’ll risk together
the flaw that lets the light come in.
Art for art’s sake, art for life’s sake,
art for the people’s sake –
you and me
for pleasure and truth
and beauty and madness and sanity.
Communities are losing so much cultural wealth it is unbelievable! These small organisation may seem unimportant and easy targets, but they provide essential outlets for creative thought. Expression of self = purpose = content community = productivity. Stop the cuts – false economy!